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I  Politics and Criticism

Introduction to politics and criticism

A. Styles

  1. One dance or many: the styles of tango
  2. Tradition and evolution: the influence of Street Latin
  3. Conservatism and progressivism in tango: real and faux
  4. Proposal for an alternative tango nomenclature: Tango Dramático, Tango Romántico and Tango Expresivo

B. Criticism and postmodernism

  1. Postmodernism and consumerism
  2. Tango as culture: anthropology vs. criticism
  3. Beauty or kitsch: making aesthetic judgements about tango dancing
  4. Sacred and profane values in the postmodern world
  5. Postmodernism: the hollowing out effect of ironic word salad in tango discourse

C. Left progressivism, feminism and ideology of gender fluidity

  1. Sex roles: is tango compatible with women’s empowerment
  2. The dystopian future: hipster tango
  3. Female hypergamy and its effect on the milonga scene
  4. The pandemic: left totalitarianism and acceleration
  5. Why leftism is an illiberal winner takes all system

II  Music and Musicality

  1. Tango music in historical context
  2. Musicality: tracing the origins of tango to contradanza and habaneira
  3. Authenticity: why dance only to Golden Era music
  4. Beauty and interpretation: canonical tango recordings
  5. Feeling: understanding music as movement and expression

III  Movement Technique

Overview: movement technique & teaching method

A. Technique, improvisation and emergent movement

  1. Technique and culture
  2. What is essential in tango: connection
  3. Improvisation: freedom or constraint
  4. Choreography vs. emergent movement
  5. Aesthetics and efficiency of movement
  6. Naturalness in dancing
  7. Adornments and women’s technique: why they are a really bad idea

B. Basic position: posture, alignment & embrace

  1. Posture and the head-neck relation
  2. Alignment: The Bow practice
  3. Alignment: Floating Elbows practice
  4. Embrace: the essence of tango

C. Basic movement: walking and turning

  1. Walking: the basic movement
  2. Feet: economy, function and aesthetics
  3. Walking and the principle of reversibility
  4. Turning without swiveling

IV  Teaching Method

A. Teaching system

  1. Rationale
  2. Needs analysis
  3. Error analysis
  4. Training vs. demonstration of skill
  5. Slow focused practice
  6. Focused Connected Tango Movement
  7. The ABCD Method

B. Teaching strategies

  1. Systems vs goals
  2. Teaching skills
  3. Culture and learning: acculturation vs. enculturation
  4. Mental imagery in movement learning
  5. Tango as a conversation
  6. Motivation
  7. Microskill stack
  8. Base: true and false beginners
  9. Videos: how to use them

C. Milonga

  1. The big small: courtesy
  2. A fundamental problem of global tango: too much floor space
  3. “The setup” for milonga success: minding the red flags

D. Resources

  1. Reading recommendations